After working in hospital labor/delivery units for many years, I had the opportunity to join a home birth practice. I attended healthy women in labor at home. During the active phase of labor the doctor or midwife arrived. Approximately ten percent of the women were transferred to the hospital for interventions–less than ten percent required a cesarean section. I am grateful that I was able to observe the natural progression of labor in the home setting. The following poem reflects combined experiences. The poem and is an edited version of one previously published on my blog..
Labor pains came gently through the night.
Morning light streamed on her rocking chair.
Her labor intensified. She walked slowly,
hand on my arm and listened for encouraging words.
Her movements were intuitive. She labored,
finding comfort in firm back massage.
She knelt down and asked me to pray.
No pain medication. She asked me to pray.
I prayed as she moaned and released her body to
Waves of pain and pressure. Her cries filled the air.
Her body pushed. The midwife supported
the baby and lifted her to welcoming arms.
I recorded the time of birth.
Morning light was now an afternoon glow.
I marveled at God’s design.
Sharing this post with the Five Minute Friday writing community .
Over the years I have often participated in the Hike for Life on Mother’s Day weekend. It has been a family event, children included.
In the 1990s we hiked along the shore of Lake Michigan in downtown Chicago. Yesterday my daughter reminded me of her first hike. It was the beginning of her concern for mothers and their infants. The years that we hiked together have now been passed along to the next generation.
Now my grandchildren participate in the Hike for Life. A couple years ago we all went together.
This year they will hike, and I will go visit my mother who is in a nursing home in Michigan.
All women need support during the transitions of life.
The money raised by the Hike for Life goes to pregnancy care centers. These centers provide ultrasounds, parenting classes, infant clothing and diapers. The staff at the pregnancy care center come along side a woman that needs assistance.
It is wonderful when a woman has the support of family and friends during pregnancy. Sometimes she needs another source of support. //
I am grateful, too, for organizations that help women adjust to the roles of motherhood. The Mother of Twins group meeting was my favorite evening out when I had three children under the age of three.
My daughters have benefited from MOPS (mothers of preschoolers), and I have enjoyed being a mentor mom for MOPS.
When we were in Finland I was happily surprised to learn that the parents of young children ride the buses in Helsinki for free.
Flowers and cards for mothers are nice, tangible help is better. Perhaps, there is someone that you can encourage.
Today I am joining the Five Minute Friday community. Our one word prompt is: INCLUDE
The lilacs are blooming in my backyard. They are a favorite, because my grandmother had them around her home.
The choke cherry tree extends it branches fluttering with green leaves and tiny white blossoms. Spring is in full bloom and Sunday is Mother’s Day. My husband and I will travel to Michigan to visit Mom in the nursing home.
My mother is in the winter of her life. Mom is confused about who I am—a sister? a daughter? Her mind is in the past. As her dementia slowly progressed I did not always respond well. I was frustrated by her behavior. I didn’t understand.
A friend pointed me to Alzheimers Reading Room. It has been a big help. (Note: this is a great resource for understanding dementia and alzheimers.) I wasn’t going to fix Mom. I needed to enter her world and support her.
My goal is to give thanks for Mom and her sacrificial care for me, to honor her. I am thankful for the people that have prayed for me during this time. The Bible encourages us to pray for one another.
Is there someone you can pray for? Or a woman that you can honor?
The Bible also encourages us to put our trust in God in all circumstances.
On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Psalm 62: 7-8
I am joining the community at Five Minute Friday and Faith on Fire with this post.